‘Playing Dumb and Lazy’- Jimmy Butler Unhappy With Miami Heat’s Early Defensive Struggles

Published 01/10/2021, 9:16 AM EST
Jan 4, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports


Jimmy Butler is easily one of the most honest superstars in the NBA. The multiple time all-star has built his reputation of being no-nonsense and an aggressive competitor. He defied conventional betting odds and took his Heat to the NBA Finals, despite facing higher seeds in every single playoff matchup.

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However, this season has not started with glitz and glamor down by Vice Beach. The Heat have a 4-4 record to start the season and barely beat the league-worst Washington Wizards by four points, despite Washington missing both Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.

Butler openly shared his thoughts on the start of the season, calling the Heat’s defense dumb and lazy. He attributed it as a team problem.

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“I think we be playing dumb sometimes, like we don’t where we supposed to be. We don’t know what the guy’s strengths are. Playing dumb, lazy, not paying attention, whatever the case might be. We just gotta be better. Not any one particular guy, but everybody as whole.”

Jimmy Butler: Pointing out the right mistakes?

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The Heat had one of the best defensive ratings last season. Their gritty defense led by Butler and Bam Adebayo was what enabled their fairytale run to the NBA Finals. However, Miami is a middle-of-the-road defensive team this season. They are above average, but 11th in defensive rating isn’t the best for a team like the Heat.

Sep 17, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) makes a lay up in front of Boston Celtics center Daniel Theis (27) during the fourth quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Miami Heat won 106-101. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler prides his play on his ability to play defense. He has had All-Defensive team selections before this, and Adebayo is expected to be an elite defender as well. Hopefully, this team picks that up sooner rather than later.

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The Wizards put 124 points past Miami without their stars, which is an obvious cause for concern. However, Coach Erik Spoelstra is seasoned enough to make the necessary changes to swing the teams’ fortunes.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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